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Average Fast Food Meal Over Half a Day’s Calories

Posted Oct 11 2009 12:00am

Last week, I discussed a recent law in New York requiring caloric information on fast food menus and the fact that calorie listings didn’t reduce intake. Before that law was put into effect, a study was done to determine the average calorie count of customers’ meals. Overall,  customers averaged 827 calories per meal and calories were lowest for sandwich chains like Subway (734 calories); and highest for chicken chains like KFC (931 calories). Overall, one-third of purchases were over 1,000 calories, predominantly from hamburger chains like McDonalds (39%) and chicken chains (48%); sandwich chain selections had the lowest calorie counts, with only 20% of purchases over 1,000 calories. “Combination meals” at hamburger chains accounted for 31% of all purchases and averaged over 1,200 calories; side orders accounted for almost one-third of these calories. Average Daily Caloric Requirements are approximately 2000 per day for women and 2400 for men. As you can see, calorie counts were extremely high per meal with relatively little nutrition value per meal. While it is best to stay away from fast food restaurants if you are watching your weight, if you must get something quick, stick to the protein and salads and  avoid the carbs and fries.

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